The strike is on, unless the union caves

Le Devoir has an opinion from STM chair Claude Trudel explaining the company side of the labour dispute that will take public transit off the road on Tuesday morning.

While it’s obvious he’s sugarcoating his own position on the matter, it’s hard to see how the STM doesn’t have the upper hand on this. Public opinion is on their side, despite valiant efforts by maintenance workers to justify the $22-25 an hour they’re paid (plus overtime) to keep 40-year-old equipment running smoothly for hundreds of thousands of kilometres per year. And the city’s position, that everyone has to get the same deal, makes sense. And it’s not like the STM is swimming in profit either.

When the strike starts at 12:01am Tuesday morning (or perhaps more accurately at 1:01am since they’re supposed to have late-night service), people will have to find alternative ways to get around:

  • Taxi drivers will get a much-needed funding boost
  • Bicycle use will skyrocket (also because of the nice weather)
  • Commuter train use will be even more unbearable than it already is (ATM is unaffected by the STM maintenance workers’ strike, however the Blainville, Rigaud and Delson lines might see delays because of an unrelated CP rail strike)
  • People might actually decide to get out and walk to places

Most importantly, the strike will send people back to their cars, and may convince some people that the uncertainty of public transit isn’t worth leaving their SUV at home.

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